I have a couple of young male friends who once made a science of flirting. They read books about it, fastidiously putting what they learned into practice.
Until talking to them, I never knew of the volumes of material written on the subject. I assumed people just followed their instincts. No. Flirting has been raised to a science.
For example, a blogger named Donalgraeme created an acronym for what he called “the five vectors of female attraction.” He wanted to concisely identify what traits in a man attract women. The vectors are:
The LAMPS acronym has no doubt worked magic for many a man in fleshly pursuit of a woman. But would it work to win a pure woman? Would it work to secure a real relationship? Or would the shallowness of the criterion itself sabotage any hope of a deeper love?
I got to thinking about the romance between God and His people. Since 2009 I’ve been involved with a project called The Lamb Wins. It’s essentially a cantata based on the book of Revelation, which a group of artists here in Philadelphia have made into a record. I wrote many of the songs and performed on some, along with seventeen other artists. I’ve written a book to accompany the album, and this past October gave an evangelistic series based on it. We’re just now releasing a documentary about the creative process of the album. Due to all these projects, I’ve been eating, drinking, breathing and sleeping Revelation for the past few years.
I’ve come to believe the central motif of the book is the romance between the Lamb and the bride. It seems to me that the war between the Lamb and the beast, essentially an extension of the war between Christ and Satan, is really the secondary war of Revelation. The primary war is the Lamb’s death-defying struggle to win the bride’s affections. It has been a slow, agonizing war—a cold war at times, fought in the silent disappointments of the bridegroom. But finally He wins her.
I found it illuminating that it is after she bestows her full affections, after she is clothed “in fine linen, bright and clean” (Revelation 19:8), symbolizing her full dependency upon Christ’s righteousness, that Jesus returns. Then the White Horse Rider, in a mode of utter triumph and masculine virtuosity, thunders forth to vanquish the enemy.
So what won the bride of Revelation? Did the Lamb use Donalgraeme’s LAMPS?
- Looks- She doesn’t lay eyes on His physical self till the wedding.
- Athleticism- A Lamb doesn’t show much muscle.
- Money- The Lamb’s beast-nemesis flashes much more money than He does.
- Power- And the beast seems to have more power.
- Status- Does dying on a Cross sound like status?
My point is that the Lamb wins the bride’s heart on the basis of something far more substantial than Doangraeme’s “LAMPS.” The Lamb has a lamp of His own. The goodness of God illuminates the Holy City, “and its lamp is the Lamb,” (Revelation 21:23, italics supplied). That Jesus calls Himself “the Lamb” 29 times in Revelation—more than any other name—is no accident. He refers to the aspect of Himself that ultimately succeeds in conquering the heart of His woman. It is His self-sacrificing love. The Lamb wins His bride on the basis of His character of love.
And a woman won by love is a woman won forever.